North Dakota Rodeo Star
On this date in 1953 Frank Whitecalfe was all of two days old. He was born to Oscar and Greta Whitecalfe in Garrison, North Dakota. Little did they realized they had a future rodeo star on their hands. Frank attended White Shield School in Garrison, graduating in 1971. He worked on the family ranch while growing up and started his own cattle herd at age 16.
After attending Dickinson State University for a year, Frank ranched and farmed, then operated a trucking business. But ranching was in his blood, and he returned to it in the early 1990s.
But what Frank was really known for was rodeo. He won his first state team roping title in 1974, heading with his dad. A well-rounded rodeo star, Frank also participated in calf roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding, and breakaway roping, winning many championships over 40 years.
His first rodeo was the 1970 High School Rodeo in Beulah, winning in bareback riding and team roping. Frank went on to the 1970 and 1971 National High School Finals Rodeo. It was the start of quite a career, as he scored championships in the North Dakota Rodeo association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys association,
the Roughrider Rodeo Association, the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association, and he was even World Champion Indian Steer Wrestler.
In addition to being a rodeo star, Frank owned and operated a variety of businesses over the years. He also served his community on various committees and boards.
Frank and his wife Julie had five children. The family lives on the Fort Berthold Reservation, where Frank ranched with his father and brother. Frank says he’s learned that it is not always about the championships, but about the memories and lifelong friendships he made along the way.
Dakota Datebook written by Cathy A. Langemo, WritePlus Inc.
ND Cowboy Hall of Fame Cowboy Chronicle – February 2010
40 Years of NDRA History by Phil Baird